Amidst what is now being dubbed the “Independence Bomb Blast (IBB)”, the 50th anniversary of Nigeria’s independence was nevertheless celebrated on October 1!
Forces opposed to the celebrations had gotten so desperate that they sent warnings to the government, about a week to the event, demanding that the celebrations be cancelled else, hell would be let loose. The warnings, sent by email, in the name of MEND (Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta) claimed the developmental issues in the Niger Delta have still not been addressed and therefore no celebrations would be allowed. Of course, it is most strange that such an issue would be pressed so strongly now that an indigene of the Niger Delta, by sheer divine arrangement, is in the saddle of the nation’s affairs – and is poised to remain in that position with the approaching elections.
In any case, President GEJ dared the faceless MEND and continued with the celebrations. Finding the security at the Eagle’s Square too tight, the bomb blasters detonated two or three bombs about a kilometer away, at the cars parked along the roadside. About a dozen innocent Nigerians, mostly security personnel, died in the blasts.
Matters have clearly now come to a head, and the bomb blasters have probably bitten more than they intended to chew. Apparently, their calculation was that, if there were to be any blasts at all (i.e if the celebrations were not curtailed), no lives would be lost and then, going by the response of Nigerians to recent past bomb explosions, the matter would simply die a natural death without any investigations. In this case however, they have gone too far. A number of people are currently standing trials, both in Nigeria and in South Africa. And they are not being treated as freedom fighters at all, but rather, as the common cheap criminals they certainly are.
Going by the arrests made so far, (and the responses elicited) It is becoming clear that this “MEND” has virtually no presence or sympathy in the Niger Delta but is mainly built around a few individuals within and outside Nigeria. In fact, the “MEND” had written that the blast was to be a one-time event – suggesting lack of resources for a sustained militant campaign, which the real MEND was known for. There are other glaring differences in the modus operandi of this new MEND and the original one whose leaders, save Henry Okah, have embraced the amnesty programme of the FG. For instance, the real MEND operated in the Niger Delta creeks, devastating oil installations; but the new MEND operates in Abuja and targets, according to latest sms threats, President Jonathan’s campaign rallies! Curiously also, with the arrest of Charles Okah, (Henry’s brother), the new MEND has abruptly written to say it was stopping the popular email interviews with its official spokesperson, Jomo Gbomo - giving credence to the widely-believed notion that the man behind that pseudoname is none else but Charles!
Most certainly, nobody is fooled by the amateurish script that attempts to claim that the Independence Bomb Blasters were acting in the interest of the Niger Delta. Their action is clearly designed only to ridicule the President and spoil his chances (or Niger Delta’s, if you like) at the coming elections. The President was caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place. Cancelling the Jubilee celebrations (spiritual implications aside), would have finished him off politically: for every other major event he plans would be sure to receive a “MEND” threat demanding a cancellation! Of course, going ahead with the celebrations despite the threat also brought its own criticisms and problems.
The President actually got an initial dose of the political barrage the blasts were meant to open him up for. Even as the clouds from the blasts still hung in the air, the campaign office of Ibrahim Babangida issued a press statement suggesting that their supposedly wise and tough candidate is what the times demand. This is of course an utter balderdash, considering that it was precisely during IBB’s unfortunate past rule that bomb blasts were first introduced into Nigeria’s polity. In any case, with the government’s decision to treat the blasts as the pure crime that it was, and the establishment of a link between IBB’s campaign chief and the people arrested for the crime, those who would politicize the bombing are realizing they are in far deeper waters than they bargained for!
Amazingly, the bomb blasts could not stop the Jubilee celebrations. Apart from the foreign heads of government who had to leave, the ceremonies proceeded calmly to conclusion! President GEJ declared this as unprecedented and interpreted it as confirming the emergence of a new Nigeria.
We agree with him that the cross-over into Nigeria’s spiritual Jubilee has succeeded, despite the devil’s desperate efforts to force an abortion. And in his desperation, the Enemy has revealed his hands, perhaps prematurely. Imagine, for instance, if the bombers had only been able to exercise restraints until election time before initiating their blasts – targeting, for instance, INEC’s headquarters a few days to distribution of electoral materials, etc, etc? Now thankfully, and hopefully, the security people have received a long-enough notice and would be able to prevent such more fundamental disasters in the future.
Now that the Jubilee celebrations and proclamations have finally, forcefully happened, according to Leviticus 25:10, what remains is restoration and recovery. The horses can now take their rest while the Nigerian eagle begins to soar (reference to our Coats of Arms!)
We however hasten to remind Christians of the situation in Daniel 9. After Daniel had understood through the Scriptures that the time of liberty for his people had come, he took action in serious waiting upon the LORD. And even when it appeared as if nothing was happening, he persisted until the devil’s desperate last-ditch ploy to block the already released answer was thoroughly thrashed and vanquished! May we not give up until we fully realize the promised blessings of our Jubilee, this season!
The next critical battle field is the coming elections. As counseled by that revered man of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, we must all be ready to get registered, to vote for our candidates of choice, and significantly, also to prepare to defend our votes. Our time is now. God bless Nigeria!